Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kill / Laugh, Clown, Laugh / Kill!

Are you totally unaware of the brand spankin' new, big screen adaptation of Stephen King's IT hitting theaters this week? If so, chances are you've been living in a sewer. And if you already know about these two kooky pre-code clown tales floating around in the THOIA Archive, then maybe find something else to do for a few days, or pay them a re-visit... because, you know, clowns are scary. It's "Scary Clown Week", right? Riiiiight. Uhhhh boy. Anyway, Kill, Clown, Kill! is from the April 1953 issue of Uncanny Tales #7 (yes, it's actually another Atlas tale this year, and yes that's a super cover by Bill Everett!); while Laugh, Clown, Laugh! first appeared in the August 1952 issue of Witches Tales #13. Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to the film, (it seriously can't get worse than the TV version, could it?), and to anyone else who sees it, tell us what you thought. But for now, kill and laugh... laugh and kill... go, clown, go!


BTX said...

About the second evil clown story; I suppose the name "Bozo The Clown" wasn't properly copyrighted huh? Since Bozo pointlessly murders innocent circus performers for his vengeance, will he have to deal with THEIR angry spirits in the afterlife?

Brian Barnes said...

The Atlas story: What beautiful art just destroyed by printing. UGH. What a crime. The murder at the top of page 3 is well staged but it's turned into mud in the printing. UGH again. The coloring -- usually really good at Atlas, is not helping. UGH a third time.

The story's fine, the ending is irrelevant, watching Felix descend into madness is the real joy of this one.

The Harvey story has good, advertiser like art from Stallman, and the more simplified and bold art gets a much better treatment than the Atlas art (it helps that it's not so busy.) A fun ghost tale.

Guy Callaway said...

I think I'm one of the few people who found clowns more pathetic than scary as a kid, so it's hard for me to get on the clown-terror band (or circus) wagon.
Both cool tales, though.

Grant said...

I never thought of them as EITHER thing, so I know what you mean.
Horrible clowns (including the NON-horror story kind) have become such a cliche. But at least these stories were written before they became that much of one.

Morbid said...

I never saw the first story's ending coming. Got me good as I was focused on his crazed falling down moments during the story, so it was a good zinger on a zippy and unusual horror tale. Some really nice drawing in that one. Liked the second one, but not as much.

I have decided what I'll watch for my midnight Friday night movie: Circus of Horrors.

Thanks, Karswell!

Mr. Cavin said...

I like to pretend that Laugh, Clown, Laugh is a sort-of semifinals elimination match between the Penguin and the Joker, winner gets a crack at whoever wins the bout between Batman and Robin. I think the last panel of page three is particularly convincing in this regard.

Erich said...

As BTX said, it is odd that the vengeful clown in the second story kills so many people who had nothing to do with his death, before finally getting revenge on his victim.

Perhaps being a ghost gives one a different perspective on death, and Bozo casually dismissed his other killings with an "Eh, I've been murdered myself, it's no big deal. You'll get used to it."